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The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, the largest rodeo organization in the world, holds a yearly Oregon Trail Rodeo event in August at the Adams County Fairgrounds. Other summer activities here include the Nebraska State High School Rodeo (June) and the County Fairfest (July). They are indeed some of the best reasons to search for an RV in Adams County and camp in an RV near Hastings during the summer. If you come to visit outside the rodeo season, you will be rewarded with proximity to southern Nebraska's wild spaces brimming with wildlife and recreation opportunities.
Entering the campground, you will be greeted with hundreds of motorhome camping sites that offer a range of services according to your needs. Hastings campers enjoy easy access to water, electric, and sewer hookups, or water and electric only. If all you need is access to electricity, an electric-only site is also on offer. A shower house and restrooms are available for campers to use, and a dump station for travel trailers with no sewer hookups. Celebrate milestone occasions here or casual family gatherings and rent the furnished kitchen with space for 40 people. Pets are allowed and have to be leashed at all times.
Several state recreation areas can be found within the vicinity of Hastings, and the closest, if you are an avid birder, is Mormon Island SRA. Less than a half-hour drive away when you're camping at Adams County Fairgrounds Campground, the island once provided winter haven for Mormons emigrating west, a tradition continued today by hundreds of thousands of sandhill cranes stopping over here each spring to rest and to perform their colorful courtship dances.
This avian gathering is one of the world's largest, with numbers peaking from mid to late March. Geese, ducks, and other waterfowl species can also be spotted here on their way farther north. If you came to sink a line, expect to hook largemouth bass, bluegill, and walleye.
Farther out and worth a day trip in your Hastings camper rental, the 2,500-acre Pawnee Lake State Recreation Area attracts anglers eager to land northern pike, walleye, and largemouth bass; boaters who will find several docks to easily access the 740-acre lake; and hikers, bikers, and horseback riders with six miles of trails to explore. This SRA has one of the largest lakes in the Salt Valley, which means swimming beaches for those who want to take a dip.
Halfway between two of Nebraska's largest cities, Lincoln and Omaha, the Platte River State Park beckons hikers who are looking for moderate terrain, thanks to the park's steep, rolling topography amidst the woodlands of the Platte River Valley. Hit the trails, and you'll be greeted by a waterfall. Then top it off with a perch atop the Lincoln Journal Tower to get a commanding view of the surrounding landscape.
Befitting its status as the seat of Adams County, Hastings offers myriad attractions and activities to visiting campers who want to enrich their understanding of the city where Kool-Aid was invented. Find a campsite at Adams County Fairgrounds Campground in August when the city celebrates all things related to Nebraska's official soft drink. The Kool-Aid Days Festival not only serves up classic flavors and newer creations from the world's largest Kool-Aid stand, but also puts out the "Kardboard Boat Races" on Lake Hastings, a classic car show, and trolley rides around the Hastings Historic District.
Any other time of the year, Hastings attracts young visitors to its Bigfoot Museum and the Children's Museum of Central Nebraska and the science-minded to the Hastings Museum of Natural and Cultural History and Hastings Museum Planetarium. The artistically and musically inclined may want to set foot in the Hastings College Art Gallery and mark their calendar in June for the Flatwater Music Festival.
The Hastings College 120-acre arboretum is a magnet for amateur arborists who want a closer encounter with century-old trees in the heart of the Great Plains. History and architecture buffs, on the other hand, will find themselves gazing up at the Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, and French Eclectic styles as they stroll around the Heartwell Park Historic Housing District, a project begun in 1886.
When you're looking for campgrounds in the Great Plains, and you want to be close to city comforts and still have enough breathing space to get away from its bustle, consider camping in Hastings, NE, and you will be delighted with the surprises this small yet thriving city has to offer.